Sunday 27 November 2011

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel is regarded as an essential componant of interpreting the rest of the visions that occur throughout the text. And like the other biblical prophecies we have covered concerning the future collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja on La Palma, it too contains the motif of an empire being destroyed by a mountain.

“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” (Dan 2:31-45)

Here we are told of a stone being cut out from a mountain, but not by human hand, which destroys the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that the statue represents several world empires, the head of which is that of Babylon itself.
This dream-vision has been interpreted in many different ways by various religious sects, but has traditionally been viewed as representing the following empires:

The text explicitly states that the head of gold represents Babylon, so typically, there is no variation here.
The chest and arms of silver are thought to represent the Medo-Persian empires.
The belly and thighs of bronze have been interpreted as the Greek empire.
The legs of iron are believed to be the Roman empire.
The feet of mixed clay and iron are traditionally believed to be the divided Roman empire.

The rock which hits the feet of clay and iron and destroys the statue, which then transforms into a mountian which goes on to fill the whole earth, represents the coming of the Messiah, who will establish the everlasting kingdom of God. Many commentators believe that this portion of the prophecy refers to the Second Coming. If this interpretation is correct, then once again we have the Second Coming of Christ being paired with a mountain destroying an empire (or a stone being "cut" from a mountain, which can again invoke imagery of a lateral collapse), which is in turn represented by a statue with a head that represents Babylon

Thursday 24 November 2011

The Prophecy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

I recently came across a prophecy attributed to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on Terry Nelson's blog Abbey Roads (see here) which I thought contained some striking parallels with my material on the mark of the Beast. Although we should be wary that the prophecy is another "of unknown origin" type that can't be traced back to a credible source, I thought I should mention it anyway, given this correlation. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born United States citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born in New York in 1774 to Episcopal parents, Seton eventually converted to Roman Catholicism and established religious communities in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The story that accompanies this prophecy states that Elizabeth Ann was given a vision sometime in the early 1800's which she did not quite understand at the time:

"Every American would have a black box in their home through which the devil would enter.”

Most people believe that this was a prophecy of television, with its seemingly limitless capacity to corrupt susceptible minds. However I believe this imagery calls to mind the Jewish practice of wearing phylacteries, which of course are black boxes worn in accordance with the shema of Deut 6.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut 6:4-9)

A phylactery (or tefillin) bearing the Hebrew letter shin, which coincidentally (or not...) resembles the letter W in the modern Latin alphabet.

Since the devil is said to enter through this "black box", it would have to be a diabolical inversion of this custom - which is exactly what the mark of the Beast is:

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Rev 13:16-17)

Just as the Jews wear phylacteries in a prescribed manner to spell Shaddai - a name for God, with the Hebrew letters shin, daleth and yod; the name of the Antichrist is found in the mark of the Beast (the diabolical phylactery), which bears the number of his name - 666.

So this "black box" through which the devil would enter has some striking similarities with the mark of the Beast. And since phylacteries are worn in the hand or forehead, as is the mark of the Beast, this would suggest that the "black box" is not television (which isn't really box-shaped anymore), but rather some other box-shaped device which is worn in the hand - namely cell phones.

While television has a lot to answer for in the secularisation of culture, we still not fully grasp the impact mobile phones will have on society. Children are certainly more withdrawn when in possession of these devices, preferring to communicate with various "friends" on their cell phones, through either SMS texts or social networking sites, where they often encounter cyber-bullying which has driven countless numbers to suicide. Also, because the internet is uncensored, any children with WAP cell phones are freely able to view any sort of material they wish through these devices, which is all too often obscene and graphic images of sex, violence or degradation which are shared around the school playgrounds (of course this reality is not limited to children, but to adults as well, who often share these images in workplaces for "fun"). There is a lot more freedom for the devil to work with through an uncensored form of media, unlike television, which although secular in nature, is still heavily regulated. What will happen when this future generation comes to power, who are so immersed in the culture of cell phones and the unfettered access to images of cruelty and depravity they provide? De-sensitisation to this material will surely see moral values in further decline from their already sorry state of existence. The devil surely finds the "black box" that is the modern cell phone an easier way of entering our lives. This combined with the fact that mobile phones are set to replace the use of the credit card in the not-too-distant future through the use of NFC technology, and that all such sales will be conducted over the worldwide web - www, which in turn is the numerical equivalent of three sixes in Hebrew, all further suggests we are living in the age of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast.

See also the related articles:

Hebrew 666
The Mark of the Beast?
NFC Technology and the Mark of the Beast
Fr Gobbi on the Mark of the Beast
Gematria and the Number of the Beast

Monday 21 November 2011

The Prophecy of St. Edward the Confessor

The Coronation of St. Edward the Confessor, as depicted on the Bayeux Tapestery

During the course of my research for Unveiling the Apocalypse I attempted to find the original source material of every prophecy I cite. In doing so I discovered that very many prophecies that are accepted as genuine by a large proportion of Catholics are at best, of untraceable origin, and at worst, completely spurious. Consequently there were quite a few prophecies which I felt I could not include in the book. Some prophecies of unknown or pseudonymous origin are so popular however that I thought it would be remiss to exclude mention of them, but I make sure to identify them as such.
It was pleasing to discover then that many other ancient prophecies can indeed be traced back to a credible source, the prophecy of St. Edward the Confessor being one of them. Being able to trace this prophecy back to an original document makes the prediction it makes all the more remarkable, since from it we are able to discern that this saintly king accurately foretold events of English history hundreds of years before they took place.
St. Edward, who reigned from 1042-1066, was the penultimate Anglo-Saxon king, and was renowned even in his own lifetime for leading a life of holiness. On his deathbed the king issued a famous prophecy, which has since been recognised as a prediction that his beloved country would be estranged from the Catholic faith for three centuries, after which it would reflower and "bear fruit". The prophecy was quoted by Ambrose Lisle Phillipps in a letter to the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1850 after the conditions brought about by the Catholic Relief Act of 1829 allowed the return of the diocesan episcopacy to England, which occurred after Pope Pius IX issued the papal bull Universalis Ecclesiae in 1850.

"During the month of January, 1066, the holy King of England St. Edward the Confessor was confined to his bed by his last illness in his royal Westminster Palace. St. Ælred, Abbott of Rievaulx, in Yorkshire, relates that a short time before his happy death, this holy king was wrapt in ecstasy, when two pious Benedictine monks of Normandy, whom he had known in his youth, during his exile in that country, appeared to him, and revealed to him what was to happen to England in future centuries, and the cause of the terrible punishment. They said: 'The extreme corruption and wickedness of the English nation has provoked the just anger of God. When malice shall have reached the fullness of its measure, God will, in His wrath, send to the English people wicked spirits, who will punish and afflict them with great severity, by separating the green tree from its parent stem the length of three furlongs. But at last this same tree, through the compassionate mercy of God, and without any national (governmental) assistance, shall return to its original root, reflourish and bear abundant fruit.' After having heard these prophetic words, the saintly King Edward opened his eyes, returned to his senses, and the vision vanished. He immediately related all he had seen and heard to his virgin spouse, Edgitha, to Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to Harold, his successor to the throne, who were in his chamber praying around his bed." (See the full article on the Catholic Encylopeadia article here)

The prophecy of St. Edward the Confessor can be found in the Vita Ædwardi Regis, an early biography of the king which was commissioned by his wife Queen Edith and written within a year of his death (c.1067). This text survives in an extant manuscript dating to around 1100, which is housed in the British museum. Although the version above quoted by Phillipps differs slightly from the original, cited below, we can find all the major elements in it.

The green tree which springs from the trunk
When thence it shall be severed
And removed to a distance of three acres
By no engine or hand of man
Shall return to its original trunk
And shall join itself to its root
Whence first it had origin
The head shall receive again its verdure
It shall bear fruit after its flower
Then shall you be able for certainty
To hope for amendment

The green tree or shoot represents England, the trunk is the Catholic Church. The offshoot of the trunk is removed to a distance of three acres, which represent three centuries. After which the shoot returns to the trunk and reflowers, which refers to the return of the episcopacy in 1850, three hundred years after the Anglican Church broke away from Rome during the English Reformation under King Henry VIII. The tree bearing fruit after its flowering is still yet to come, when the full conversion of England will inaugurate the Second Pentecost, as foretold by numerous other prophecies such as those of La Salette. St. Edward states that England will be able to hope for amendment for past wrongs by this unique grace.

See also the related articles:

Friday 18 November 2011

A mega-tsunami prophecy in the Book of Nahum?

Nahum Annoucing the Destruction of Ninevah

In some future posts, I will be attempting to provide a brief commentary on some of the various other passages in the Bible I believe may prophesy a future mega-tsunami (which were previously outlined in the post The Casting Down of Mountains). I'll begin with the Book of Nahum, which also appears to refer to this future event:

The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness. (Nah 1:5-8)

Firstly, we have mountains quaking and the earth heaving in the presense of the Lord. As have noted before, earthquakes are often associated with theophany (the appearance of God) in the Bible, and the language used here is suggestive of the Day of the Lord mentioned throughout the canonical prophetic literature. The Day of the Lord is presented as a day of wrath and darkness when God will appear to announce his judgement on the world, and is of course related to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian tradition. The fact that the "earth and all who dwell in it" heaves at this event recalls the eschatological earthquake described in the Book of Revelation:

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. (Rev 16:18)

The theme of hills "melting" in the presence of God is found throughout Scripture, and conjures images of lateral collapses or massive landslides caused by volcanic eruptions, such as the footage of the collapse of St. Helens below:

Notice how the initial rockslide does indeed give the impression that the mountain is "melting" like it is made of wax. Although the collapse of Cumbre Vieja would be on a far greater scale than this, it would produce a similar spectacle. The imagery of God's wrath being poured out like fire, combined with the smashing of rocks, further invokes visions of a volcanic eruption, with spews of molten magma bursting forth from craggy fissures. Next we are told that God makes a complete end to his adversaries with "an overflowing flood", which surely brings to mind images of collosal tidal waves genearated by the "melting" hills collapsing into the sea.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Gematria and the Number of the Beast

The Ten Sephiroth on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life

The use of gematria was widespread in esoteric Judaism at the time the New Testament was written. Although the Kabbalah did not exist during the first century, the esoteric influences that would later coalese into this practice were already fully developed and widely disseminated in Judaic thought. We can find the use of gematria in various other literary works dating back to well before the first century.  Esoteric Judaism believed that numbers held a mystical symbolic value, and because each letter of the Hebrew alphabet was also used as numerals, each word in the Hebrew language had a numerical value. Jewish mystics believed that words with equal numerical value were purposely associated by God at the creation of the world, and spiritual insight into the properties of names and words could be found by exploring these connections.

As can be seen from the table above, the Hebrew letter waw is transliterated into English as the letter w, and has the numerical value of 6 - so www in Hebrew has the numerical equivalent of three sixes - 6-6-6.

The most famous use of gematria is of course the number of the Beast in the book of Revelation. The fact that the number of the Beast, 666, was also the number of a man's name (most likely the Roman Emperor Nero in the preterist layer of interpretation) makes it explicitly clear that the use of gematria should be used to decipher this riddle.  The threefold repitition of sixes in this number was the primary symbolic value for the author of the Apocalypse. Falling short of the perfect divine number seven (which is to be found repeated throughout Revelation both in the central narrative itself and also hidden in the sub-text), the number six represented imperfection - the seperation between the Creator and the creation itself. The fact that it repeated three times in this number connotes the use of the Hebrew superlative. Hebrew does not use the superlative in the same singluar way as most other languages.  To emphasise that the superlative is being used the word is repeated three times. So the fact that the word "holy" is repeated three times in Isaiah 6:3 indicates to the reader that God is holiest. The number six being repeated three times therefore suggests that the Beast is the superlative of imperfection - the exact opposite of the Holy Trinity which is represented by three sevens.
To the semitic mind of the author of the Apocalypse three sixes would be represented by a threefold repetition of the letter waw. And a threefold repetition of the Hebrew letter waw is transliterated into the modern Latin alphabet as www - an acronym which is used to represent the medium through which all electronic commerce is now conducted - the worldwide web (see the post Hebrew 666 for more details).
The New Testament contains some other examples of gematria other than the number of the Beast. Pope Benedict XVI for instance explains that Matthew's genelogy of Jesus is seperated into three groups of fourteen generations because 14 was the numerical value of the name of King David (Jesus of Nazareth p9). In another mysterious use of number symbolism which has been widely speculated upon number is that of the 153 fishes in the net described in John 21:

 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. (John 21:11)

John Michell asks why such a precise number would be included, and argues that it has a special signifcance for the author of the fourth Gospel. Michell notes that 153 is a triangular number - the sum of all numbers from 1-17, and that the numerial value of both the Greek words to diktuon ("the net") and ichthyes ("fish") in isopsephy (the Greek version of gematria) is 153 (How the World is Made pp97-98).

The use of gematria became common in the occult largely through the influences of the Kabbalah on Western esotericism. Although many Kabbalah adherents believe that the Zohar, the foundational work of Kabbalistic teaching, was written during the second century AD by Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, it is more likely to have been written by Moses De Leon, who claimed to have discovered the book in the 13th century. After the publication of the Zohar, the Kabbalah became widely systemised, and began to attract thinkers from outside of Judaism.  The renaissance philosopher and occultist Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) is thought to be the first to introduce Kabbalistic teachings to Western Hermetic thought, leading to the development of the so-called "Christian Kabbalah" which was to profoundly influence secret societies such as the Rosicrucians and Freemasons.
Many of the rituals of Freemasonry are based upon the principles of sacred geometry and the dimensions of the Temple of Solomon - influences which are derived from the Kabbalah. The infamous 19th century mason Albert Pike called the Kabbalah the "key of the occult sciences" and stated that this key turns on the secret science of numbers - given rise to the masonic motto omnia in numeris sita sunt - "Everything lies veiled in numbers" (Morals and Dogma pp626-642).

See also the related articles:
Hebrew 666
The Mark of the Beast?
NFC Technology and the Mark of the Beast

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Fr Gobbi on the Mark of the Beast


As I mentioned on a previous post (The Mark of the Beast?), Fr Stefano Gobbi predicted the date by which the prophecy of the mark of the Beast would be fulfilled - in a period of history beginning in the year 1998, which is 666 multiplied by three:

666 indicated thrice, that is to say, for the third time, expresses the year 1998, nineteen hundred and ninety-eight. In this period of history, Freemasonry, assisted by its ecclesiastical form, will succeed in its great design: that of setting up an idol to put in the place of Christ and of his Church. A false christ and a false church. Consequently, the statue built in honor of the first beast, to be adored by all the inhabitants of the earth and which will seal with its mark all those who want to buy or sell, is that of the Antichrist. You have thus arrived at the peak of the purification, of the great tribulation and of the apostasy. The apostasy will be, as of then, generalized because almost all will follow the false christ and the false church. Then the door will be open for the appearance of the man or of the very person of the Antichrist! (Message 407)

In this locution, Fr Gobbi (or if you prefer Our Lady through Fr Gobbi) associates the mark of the Beast with the idol fashioned by the False Prophet in Rev 13:

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. (Rev 13:11-15)

Fr Gobbi makes reference to this same idol in an earlier message, and specifically relates it to modern technology, such as television:

Do not waste time before the television set, which is the most powerful instrument in the hands of my Adversary in spreading everywhere the darkness of sin and of impurity. Television is the idol spoken of in the Book of Revelation, built to be adored by all the nations of the earth, and to which the Evil One gives shape and movement so that it might become, in his hands, a terrible means of seduction and perversion. (Message 374)

We have to keep in mind that Fr Gobbi received these locutions some years before the invention of the worldwide web and WAP phones, so while the internet, computers, cell phones, etc. aren't specifically mentioned here, they are definitely part of the wider social communications technology he frequently refers to elsewhere. It is also worth noting that in the first message cited above, Fr Gobbi states that the idol wouldn't be fully established until the period in history beginning in the year 1998 - which is well outside the date of the first introduction of television during the 1930's. So clearly television isn't the sole reference point of the "idol" Fr Gobbi refers to - it must involve something else also. We can find some further evidence that this "idol" is specifically linked to the introduction of WAP cell phones in an earlier message which is part of the Fr Gobbi’s overall commentary on the mark of the Beast:

Above all, my Immaculate Heart is today becoming the sign of my certain victory in the great battle which is being fought out between the followers of the huge red Dragon and the followers of the Woman clothed with the sun. In this terrible struggle, there comes up from the sea, to the aid of the Dragon, a beast like a leopard. If the Red Dragon is Marxist atheism, the Black Beast is Freemasonry. The Dragon manifests himself in the force of his power; the Black Beast, on the other hand, acts in the shadow, keeps out of sight and hides himself in such a way as to enter in everywhere. He has the claws of a bear and the mouth of a lion, because he works everywhere with cunning and with the means of social communication, that is to say, through propaganda. The seven heads indicate the various masonic lodges, which act everywhere in a subtle and dangerous way.
This Black Beast has ten horns and, on the horns, ten crowns, which are signs of dominion and royalty. Masonry rules and governs throughout the whole world by means of the ten horns. The horn, in the biblical world, has always been an instrument of amplification, a way of making one’s voice better heard, a strong means of communication...

...If the Lord has communicated His Law with the Ten Commandments, Masonry is everywhere spreading a law which is completely opposed to that of God, with the power of its ten horns. (Message 405)

Note here that Fr Gobbi states that the "Black Beast" mentioned here, which represents Freemasonry, works its deception through social communications, which he then goes on to compare to the horns of the seven headed sea-beast. His further analogy with the biblical sense of the horn as a means of communication is highly suggestive of mobile phone use - "The horn, in the biblical world, has always been an instrument of amplification, a way of making one’s voice better heard, a strong means of communication". This portion of Fr Gobbi’s message contains a key insight as to the identity of the "idol/mark of the Beast" he mentioned previously, and explicitly associated with modern technology such as television - which coincidentally can now easily be viewed through mobile handsets via the internet. So it seems pretty clear then that Fr Gobbi directly associated the mark of the Beast with modern social communications technology - a prophecy which appears to have been fulfilled with chilling accuracy in the advent of the worldwide web (the acronym of which is the equivalent of three sixes in Hebrew), and the fact that cell phones are set to replace credit cards as a means of commerce - which will be conducted exclusively over the www.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Cell phones - Carcinogenic or Not?

In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I note how near field communications (NFC) technology in cell phones is set to replace the use of credit cards in the near future, bringing us one step closer to a "cashless society" and making it extremely difficult to buy or sell without owning such a device. Since NFC in cellphones is conducted over the worldwide web (www), which in turn has the numerical value of six-six-six in Hebrew, I argue that this technology has already fulfilled the prophecy of the mark of the Beast, and we do not need to wait until the fabled New World Order forcibly coerce the inhabitants of the world to be microchipped with RFID implants. If the use of cell phones as a means of economic transaction is to be equated with the mark of the Beast, then the Book of Revelation may forewarn of a future cancer epidemic related to mobile phone use:

"So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast..." (Rev 16:2)

(For those who need a recap, see the earlier posts Hebrew 666? the Mark of the Beast and NFC technology and the Mark of the Beast, which note the similarities between the original meaning of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast and the present day use of modern social communications technology).
There is some debate amongst scientists as to what extent cell phone use can induce various types of cancer. The vast majority of these studies focus on the develop of brain tumours caused by microwave radiation. The highest profile scientific study of recent years was the controversial 2006 Danish mobile phone study, which concluded that cell phones posed no discernible risk in inducing brain cancer. However Dr George Carlo, an independent leading epidemiologist called this research into question, by claiming that the Danish study was sponsored by the cell phone industry itself (via the CTIA), and that the data was manipulated to put a favourable light on mobile phone use - much in the same way the tobacco industry funded scientific research which downplayed the effects of cigarette smoke and lung cancer. These insights throws the recent Danish study published in October 2011 into doubt also (which similarly found no definite link between cell phone use and cancer).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has never definitively provided an answer, but recently indicated that cell phones were "possibly carcinogenic" (see here), after some of their own research appeared to suggest that heavy usage was linked to glioma - a malignant type of brain cancer (see here). Below is an abstract from a press release circulated by the WHO on this issue:

Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐ The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use. IARC classifies adiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. (See the full press release here)

The simple truth is that the long-term effects of heavy and prolonged mobile phone usage is still an unknown quantity. Brain cancers are recognised as the slowest to develop, so the fact that there is a lack of observable genetic mutations in cell phone users today, does not prove that sustained use over a long period will not result in a cancer outbreak in the future. Since there is already some preliminary evidence that mircowave raditation from cell phones can result in certain types of cancer, there is a strong possibility that we are sitting on a cancer "time-bomb". In the case of cigarette smokers, there can be a thirty to forty year period before the smoker will develop cancers related to their habit - so it is quite possible that it would take a similar length of time before cell phone users begin to develop symptoms of heavy microwave radaition exposure.
It wasn't too long ago that links to power lines and cancer were similarly being brushed aside, before the statistical data emerged to prove otherwise. Below is an extract from an article on New Scientist on this topic:

Children living near overhead power lines may have an increased risk of leukemia but the association may not be causal, UK researchers say.
The confusing message, which comes from the largest study to date - of over 29,000 children with cancer - is that since "there is no biological mechanism to explain the higher risk", the results, "although statistically significant, may be due to chance".
The study - a collaboration between the Childhood Cancer Research Group at the University of Oxford and National Grid owners, Transco - looked at cancer data in England and Wales between 1962 and 1995, for children aged up to 15 years old.
They were able to map how far each child lived from a high voltage overhead power line. Comparing the children who had cancer with a control group of 29,000 children without cancer but who lived in comparable districts, found that children whose birth address was within 200 metres of an overhead power line had a 70% increased risk of leukemia. Children living 200 to 600 m away from power lines had a 20% increased risk. (Gaia Vince "Large study links power lines to childhood cancer" New Scientist. See the full article here).

Although the statistical evidence certainly indicates a link between the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by power lines and childhood leukemia, scientists are still at a loss how to explain the exact causation. But just because science can't explain something doesn't necessitate that it doesn't exist - rather that we have not the sufficient knowledge to understand these processes. The exact same scenario can be transposed to the correlation between EMFs generated by cell phones and a link to brain cancer. So in the mean time, it is advised that cell phone users limit their usage to hands free devices or texting in order to curb their exposure to microwave radiation.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

The Great Tribulation

If we are to distinguish between the Second Coming and the Last Judgment (which can only occur after the consummation of history), this leaves us with a period of time between the end-time Parousia of Christ and the end of the world. It would after all be inconceivable that the world would immediately come to an end at the Parousia of Christ, as this would deprive the event of any earthly significance. Rather, as well as ushering in God's judgment upon the earth, the Second Coming will be a further mercy, drawing more people to the faith before the destruction of the world.
The idea of a time period after the Second Coming during which the Antichrist will reign is an old one. The concept of a seven year period of tribulation is one of the central components of dispensationalism, but it may be traced back much further than that.
According to dispensationalism, the tribulation period will last for a total of seven years, during which time the Antichrist will rise to power before meeting his final destruction in the final coming of Christ. When the seven years of tribulation were completed, Jesus would return to earth with the resurrected saints, defeat the Antichrist, and establish the millennial reign on earth. This portrait of the end-time was included in the footnotes in the Schofield Reference Bible, which in turn were based on John Nelson Darby’s dispensationalist teachings, and soon found wide circulation in American Evangelical Christianity. The popularity of dispensationalism reached new heights in the second half of the twentieth century, due to the writings of John F. Walvoord and Hal Lindsey, followed by the Left Behind fiction series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.
According to the teachings of classical dispensationalism, a seven year tribulation period will follow the Rapture, in order to punish the unbelievers left on Earth. This seven year period for the Great Tribulation derives its origins from the prophecy of the seventieth week in the Book of Daniel. Dispensationalists believe there is an indeterminate break between the conclusion of the 69 weeks of Daniel, in which the Messiah is “cut off”, and the seventieth week. In the teachings of Dispensationalism, the seventieth week relates specifically to the seven year period of the Great Tribulation at the end-time.

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (Dan 9:26-27)

Interpreted in this fashion, the seventieth week is to be distinguished from the previous sixty nine weeks. Dispensationalists argue that there is a hiatus between the 69th and 70th weeks, which spans the age of the Church. The prophecy of the seventieth week will only be fulfilled at the eschaton, when the Antichrist establishes a covenant with the Jews during the seven year tribulation period. The Antichrist will then go on to break this treaty in the midst of the week and abolish the sacrifices in the newly built Third Temple, before commencing his three and a half year tyrannical reign. So in the dispensationalist interpretation of this passage Daniel’s seventieth week is typically divided into two parts and relates to the coming of the Antichrist.
Yet there are a number of serious problems with the dispensationalist view of Daniel’s seventy weeks. There is absolutely no indication given in the text that there is a massive gap between the 69th and 70th weeks such as the one construed by dispensationalists. Nor is the prophecy of the abomination of desolation to be associated with the hypothetical construction of a “Third Temple”.
It is inconceivable that a third Jewish Temple would even be entertained in today’s political climate. Even if the Dome of the Rock was ultimately destroyed by Jewish extremists, as has been attempted in the past, or as a result of the eschatological earthquake centred on Jerusalem; a proposal to convert the site into a Jewish sanctuary would be highly inflammatory to Muslims throughout the world. It would not be, nor ever should be, permitted. And, as we have already shown, there is no need to posit the existence of a Third Temple in order for the prophecy of the abomination of desolation to retain a degree of significance for the eschatological age (see the earlier post The Abomination of Desolation).
Another weakness of the dispensationalist interpretation of the prophecy of Daniel’s seventy weeks is that the most logical understanding of the reference to the one who “makes a strong covenant with many” is that it actually relates to Christ, rather than the Antichrist. The abolition of the sacrifices can be explained by the nullification of this particular requirement of the Mosaic Law in the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. An act which was symbolized by the tearing of the Temple curtains at the moment of Christ’s death, which is interpreted by Christians as the departure of the Shekinah, or divine presence from the inner sanctum. Any sacrifices performed in the Temple after the flight of the divine presence would have been worthless, and completely unnecessary in the light of Jesus’ eternal sacrifice on the Cross.
So it seems that the dispensationalists were mistaken in basing their beliefs of a seven year tribulation period on the “gap theory” of Daniel’s seventieth week. And the concept of the Rapture is a fallacious doctrine based on a late theological construct. But it seems that despite its errors in other areas, dispensationalism may have touched upon an element of truth by making a distinction between the Second Coming and Last Judgment, and in hypothesizing a seven year tribulation period - although for reasons quite different from our own. Also the idea of the tribulation period lasting for seven years can also be found in the prophecy of St. Patrick, that Ireland would be inundated by the ocean seven years before the last day to spare the Irish from the reign of the Antichrist (see the earlier post St. Patrick and the End-Time Flood of Ireland). And the three and a half year period during which the Antichrist will reign also implies a seven year period (three and a half is one half of seven, and symbolises incompleteness and imperfection).
Therefore according to the prophecy of St. Patrick, the mega-tsunami that will be generated by the collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands (the "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea as described in Rev 8:8 - see the earlier post Mega-tsunami) will take place seven years before the end of the world. It appears that it will be this event (which I argue in the book is intimately related to the Second Coming of Christ and the eschatological earthquake) that will bring about the tribulation period on earth. This will be a period of unparalleled economic turmoil, which as history shows leads to massive civil unrest - the seedbed of revolution. I believe that the Antichrist will use this tumultous time period to seize world power and establish a regime that will utterly opposed to the Church and seek either to supplant or destroy it (or both). This will be the final tribulation that the Church will face before the end of world, as foretold in the Gospels and in the Third Secret:

 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake." (Matt 24:9)

And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.